If Mike Minor were still pitching like he did in April and May, the Braves would be trying to trade for two starters instead of one.
But he’s not. The young left-hander has been a far better pitcher the past two months, including Saturday night when he limited the Phillies to four hits and one run with nine strikeouts in eight innings of a 2-1 win at Turner Field, the Braves’ fourth in a row.
The Braves scored two runs in the first three innings and held on to beat the Phillies for the fifth consecutive time and the sixth in eight games this season, moving to a season-high 12 games over .500.
Minor (6-7) retired the last 13 batters he faced and 14 of 15 after Chase Utley’s home run in the fourth inning cut the lead to 2-1.
“Today he was about as good as I’ve seen him,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “If you don’t have the best closer in the game sitting out there in the bullpen, and you get a couple more runs, you may want to run [Minor] back out there [for the ninth